News Article

latest news in employment law

WorkSafe is nearly here. Are you ready?

Published 01 Nov 2013

Health and Safety in the workplace will be under the control of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) banner as from this December (2013) with a dedicated department; WorkSafe New Zealand being formed.

A new Health and Safety at Work Bill will replace the existing Health and Safety in Employment Act (1992). The exact changes and requirements on the business owner are unclear at this stage.

However, as there will be a specialised and dedicated task force in place, Employers can count on a far higher profile than there ever has been with the Department of Labour and OSH in the past.

Mission statements from the new organisation so far are:
  • Greater focus on proactive and preventative work and being far more visible in workplaces.
  • Clearer expectations of workplaces, and guidance on how to comply.
  • A firm regulatory stance.
  • A strong focus on the highest risk industry sectors
  • Better cross-Government partnerships.
Legislation changes are promising stronger penalties, new Court powers and cost recovery mechanisms for prosecutions. While the Minister of Justice is considering introducing corporate manslaughter charges.

No one can argue with the premise of making workplaces safer, and New Zealand does have a awful track record. An accident free workplace is of course in everyone's interest, while compliance also has positive spinoffs in ACC levies - which are also in the WorkSafe agenda.

Be sure though that changes are in the pipeline and systematised Health and Safety procedures will be required.

Everything Employers need to be compliant is available through Employers Assistance.  We can provide as much or little assistance Employers require to get their systems in place.

Check out our OSH Online module in the - click 'Demo' for a quick look around, or contact us to arrange an evaluation for your business. As our online health and safety system is web based, we are able to work with clients New Zealand wide remotely saving you money on consulting fees and site visits.

For as little as $35 plus GST per month for members ($50 plus GST for non-members), Employers can have a dynamic and highly comprehensive Health and Safety system.

For more information on our OSH Online please click here.